Russia to Deploy Convicts to Clean Up Arctic Pollution

RUSSIAN PRISON authorities have announced plans to deploy convicts to clean up the country’s Arctic regions after several high-profile pollution disasters.

Speaking at the Arctic summit in St Petersberg, an official from the Federal Prison Service (FSIN) announced plans to deploy inmates to Arctic regions badly affected by pollution damage. In May one of the biggest oil spills in history occurred near the city of Norilsk when 21 thousand litres of diesel leaked from a storage tank.

The FSIN says they are working with local authorities in the Arctic to reach “mutually beneficial cooperation”, and Norilsk officials have already announced the construction of a 56-person facility to house prisoners conscripted for the environmental labour.

Experts have warned that the globe’s Arctic regions are warming up at a dangerous speed due to climate change, with record-breaking high temperatures recorded in October and November this year.

Since 2017 Russia has been controversially sentencing convicted criminals to forced labour, a practice that critics have compared to the infamous historical Gulags. During the reign of both the Tsars and the following Communist rulers, countless Russians were sent to work in far-flung regions as legal punishment.

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Oisin Sweeney

Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...